Salary survey: Top corporate finance staff in demand - but no more sign-on bonuses.

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Salaries of many corporate finance staff in banks in the UK are higher than six months ago, according to the recruitment company Robert Walters.

Analysts at graduate level are earning between 28,000 and 30,000, said a March 2001 survey by the company. Six months ago the figures were 25,000 to 30,000.

Demand for staff with top level academic qualifications remained strong, the survey said.

James Smither, a corporate finance consultant at Robert Walters, said that overall recruitment levels had however declined this year as merger and acquisitions activity had fallen off.

While 2000 was a candidate-driven market, this year banks were hiring more carefully.

Smither said that one result was that banks were no longer offering sign-on bonuses to first-year associates.

"Last year individuals were spoilt for choice and they did not know which bank to go to. So the deciding factor tended to be the sweetener (sign-on bonus) offered - which was anything between 5,000 to 10,000," he said.

The survey said that first-year associates' salaries had remained static, at between 46,000 and 55,0000.

Managers in corporate finance have fared better however, with salaries rising to between 55,000 and 65,000, from 50,000 and 60,000 six months ago. At vice president level, salaries had risen to between 60,000 and 70,000 from 55,000 to 65,000.